The 2015 H.E.R.O. Honoree: Jonathan Santoro, MD

SantoroIt is with great pride and excitement that we are able to announce the judges’ decision to recognize Dr. Santoro from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University as the 2015 Honoree. Dr. Santoro will receive $25,000 to use toward defraying his student debt and also which he intends to use to help his brother do the same.

We were able to surprise Dr. Santoro together over the phone before we made the announcement: Click here to listen to his reaction and the rest of the recording.

Before we finalize the 2015 program, it is important that we also recognize every single one of the candidates that were nominated, and especially those that made up the top ten finalists. The judges were quick to admit that the decision wasn’t easy at first, and everyone that participated in the final entries were all worthy of this honor. We look forward to working with all of the candidates to help shed some light on the daily lives of residents, assist in promoting their causes and research, and to improve the honorarium each year we’re able to sponsor it.

In Dr. Santoro’s words, “It’s really an honor to even be in the category.  I read through it and read everyone’s applications and there’s just so many people who are so passionate and doing so many cool things. I’m so grateful.”

Currently a pediatric neurology resident at Stanford University, Dr. Santoro attended medical school at Tulane University in the wake of hurricane Katrina. He learned medicine in a rebuilding system stripped of its resources, encountering patients with cerebral palsy and other neurologic problems in free student-run clinics in New Orleans. This experience made Dr. Santoro aware of the nation’s shortage of pediatric neurologists and the intense need for advocacy among the medically complex. The American Academy of Neurology selected him to travel to Washington DC as part of a “Neurology on the Hill” program. Only one of two pediatric neurology specialists in attendance, Dr. Santoro lobbied members of congress to increase neurologic research funding through the Brain Initiative investment resources.

When presented with the Honorarium, Dr. Santoro outlined his excitement for being named the recipient and what drove him to such a unique platform for change in medicine, “It’s not always the easiest being in pediatric neurology but it’s one of those places where I really do feel there’s going to be a lot of change,” he continued, “That’s what really drew me to it. There’s going to be the ability to get this population of patients that have historically been voiceless to be on the forefront of a lot of new technologies.  It’s an exciting place to be.”

Read Dr. Santoro’s original entry here.  The recording of his announcement is on YouTube (audio only) at this address:

You can also read the official press release here:

Below you will find a video interview featuring Dr. Santoro and last year’s Honorarium recipient, Dr. Kanani Titchen:

Please congratulate Dr. Santoro on this achievement and all of the 2015 Honorarium nominees!


Dan Stepchew
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